San Juan Capistrano
In 2018, the town celebrated its 80th annual Swallows Day Parade and Mercado Street Fair put on by the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association. The parade is the end celebration of a three month Fiesta de las Golondrinas where the town puts on events to commemorate the migration home of the cliff swallows. The parade shuts down a portion of the downtown area to make way for floats, horses, and people walking in the parade. The event holds the title of being the longest running, and largest non-motorized parade west of the Mississippi.
San Juan Capistrano is the site of a Christian mission for which it is named, Mission San Juan Capistrano. When the Mission was founded in 1776, the region was populated by the Acjachemen band of Native Americans, called Juaneños by the Spanish. The mission was named after Giovanni da Capistrano (1386–1456), the Franciscan saint from Capestrano, in the Italian region of Abruzzo.
The city is the site of California's oldest residential neighborhood, Los Rios. It is also the home of the oldest in use building in California, the Serra Chapel in the Mission. The area was the site of both the first vineyard and first winery in California .